My Speech: Pride Rally 2012

From Yesterday’s Pride Rally: 

Last week someone said to me “Why do you people need a parade? Why do you have to make such a fuss?”

Here’s why:

We have been afraid to be who God created us to be. Sometimes it was our churches that made us afraid.

We have been legislated against- made criminals in the eyes of the law that is supposed to protect us.

We have been killed and we have killed ourselves.

We have lost good men and women to HIV/AIDS.

We have been bullied and teased and yes, driven from our very homes and schools and communities- and state.

We have been hurt and maligned right here under this big sky.

 

Why do we need a parade?

 

To remind us that there are people whose bravery has driven away darkness. Whose voices refuse to give in to hopelessness or complacency or fear.

That together, we can be that voice.

 

A voice to proclaim the goodness of our lives and the lives of our brothers, sisters, parents, children and friends- we are here and like it or not- we are not going away.

 

We will not forget the lives that have lived with pain to bring us here- to this place of hope and triumph.

 

Today is a gorgeous day in Montana History, because the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Transgender, Intersex and Queer people of Montana- and our allies- are here to proclaim that we will not let our voice die.

 

We will not be afraid.

 

We will stand up when we are told to lie down.

We will speak when anyone tries to shame us into silence.

We will remain when we are told to leave.

We will proclaim the truth.

 

Firmly and gently and clearly and proudly.

The truth that we are light.

And that light makes Montana more beautiful, not less.  More.

 

I want to hear your voice.

Are We Good?

Are We Beautiful?

Are We Going Away?

 

We live in hope that one day all Americans agree.

Until then- we have a parade.

Because we.

Are not.

Going.

Away.

It’s Here! Montana Pride 2012 Starts Today!

And it’s gonna to be fantastic!

Click for schedule!

You can pick up tickets at the MSU SUB starting at 1pm today. Then check out the resource booths, hang out in the SUB with friends, take advantage of free HIV testing, grab some condoms donated by ONE® condoms, go downtown and support the businesses with rainbow flags, hit the Bears and Brews at the Bar IX and come back to the Ballrooms at 7pm for “The Made In Montana Drag Show” with DJ Missillaneous, Cloud City Jazz and then our headliner: Jessie and The Toy Boys.

There is also a fabulous after party and dance featuring Ebola Syndrome.

Underage and non-alcoholic activities in the Rec Center, hosted by PFLAG.

Security is provided- and Streamline buses will be running late to accommodate.

Like I said, epic- and this is only Friday!

Tonight: “The Argument for LGBT-Inclusive Christianity”

Get to the Bozeman Library tonight at 7pm…!

Kathy Baldock, a straight, Evangelical Christian and Executive Director of Canyonwalker Connections, will offer the public a chance to consider, discuss and debate the arguments for a Christianity that is welcoming and affirming of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered persons. All are welcome.
For More about Kathy and her experience, please visit http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/about-2/ .

This forum is presented By Montana Pride 2012

 

HIV Testing At Montana Pride

In keeping with the relevance of Montana Pride- and as a precursor to HIV Testing Awareness Day June 27th, free, anonymous HIV testing will be offered Friday and Saturday during Montana Pride in the MSU Strand Union Building, just look for these signs:

MT Pride 2012 Presents Kathy Baldock: The Argument For LGBT-Inclusive Christianity

I’m really very excited. Here’s why:

My friend Kathy Baldock will be journeying to Montana from Reno this week to join us for MT Pride 2012. She will be here to speak to faith leaders, join her LGBT brothers and sisters for Montana Pride and will present at least twice. The first is at the Bozeman Public Library on Tuesday.

Entitled “The Argument For LGBT-Inclusive Christianity”, Kathy will share her story (which is really remarkable) and her conviction that there is nothing that prevents Christianity from openly embracing and affirming LGBT persons. Here’s the blurb:

Kathy Baldock, a straight, Evangelical Christian and Executive Director of Canyonwalker Connections, will offer the public a chance to consider, discuss and debate the arguments for a Christianity that is welcoming and affirming of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered persons.

For More about Kathy and her experience, please visit http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/about-2/ .
This forum is presented By Montana Pride 2012.

Kathy will also present a workshop at Montana Pride 2012. Talking to Churches and Faith Leaders- How Do We Start? Evangelical Christian and LGBT ally Kathy Baldock will offer some guidance and understanding about creating a conversation with Christian faith leaders. She will share her experiences in changing hearts and minds about LGBT persons in churches and faith communities. She will also address the topic of creating “open and affirming” churches.

She will be hanging out with us all week and will be marching in the parade and participating in the Pride Interfaith Service, Sunday June 17th , 10 am at the Holiday Inn.

Kathy is also available to the faith communities of the area during the week she is here. If you’d like to speak to her, please contact me at dgsma@hotmail.com.

To my mind, equality will be won when we do two things:

  1. Win over the churches, and
  2. Engage the families of LGBT people in our struggle- especially the moms.

With Kathy’s help, we’re going to do our best to win over some churches in the next week- and maybe a few mothers….

Inlaws & Outlaws To Be Shown At MT Pride 2012

Did you miss Inlaws and Outlaws last month? Well, you have another shot!

Montana Pride presents an encore screening of Inlaws & Outlaws as part of this year’s Pride celebration.

The film is Saturday, June 16th at 6 pm at the Procrastinator Theatre in the Strand Union Building on the Montana State University campus inBozeman. The MSU SUB is the headquarters for Montana Pride this year- and there will be lots of activities available for all ages.

This community screening is FREE and open to all- and DVD sales benefit Montana Pride.

See you there!

Montana Pride 2012: It’s Not Just A Party

It’s a time for determined activism and empowerment.

This year, we’ve invited every elected official and candidate from across Montana to meet their LGBT and allied constituents at Montana Pride.

We’ve made Out Legislators Diane Sands, Christine Kaufmann, Bryce Bennett and Montana Human Rights Network organizer/lobbyist Jamee Greer our Grand Marshals. And they will be sharing their stories with Montana Public Radio’s Brian Kahn in the Bozeman Public Library after speaking at the Equality Rally on the Library Front Lawn. A Rally which will feature Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex speakers and performers.

Montana Women Vote will be registering voters during the weekend.

And we have an amazing array of workshops at the MSU SUB on Saturday starting at 3pm 

PFLAG Presents: Inclusive Language: Helping families and friends avoid hoof-in-mouth disease. How to talk about/to our LGBT loved ones and A chapter can be the first ray of sunshine in small communities and be an umbrella to connect efforts in others. Presented by Kathy Reim, PFLAG Pacific Northwest Regional Director and Cesar Hernandez, PFLAG Western Field & Policy Manager

Vagina Facebook: How to friend, things to like, status updates, and blocking creepers for your lady parts. If our vaginas had a grasp on social marketing they would pick better playmates, know all the best products, keep honest medical tabs, and hide from those unwanted pests like herpes. This workshop will use the principles of Facebook to outline 20 new lessons on vulva wellness and user sexuality. Log-on and learn.   Open session for women with doctor of human sexuality and clinical sexologist, Lindsey Doe

It’s Not Your Story Until You Tell It. Author Bobbie Zenker will present a workshop on coming out and telling your story & why it is important. She will share her experiences in writing her memoir, TransMontana, followed by a brief reading. Q&A to follow.

Talking to Churches and Faith Leaders- How Do We Start? Evangelical Christian and LGBT ally Kathy Baldock will offer some guidance and understanding about creating a conversation with Christian faith leaders. She will share her experiences in changing hearts and minds about LGBT persons in churches and faith communities. She will also address the topic of creating “open and affirming” churches.

Yeah, it’s a party, but it’s also a time to be empowered.

Because together, we’re powerful.

And it’s gonna be hard to ignore us in Montana after next weekend….